As David Arick begins his new role as RIMS president, StrategicRISK caught up with him to find out about his top priorities for his tenure and how he thinks the profession can evolve to meet the challenges of the future.
RIMS has announced that David Arick will lead the society as president for the 2024 term.
He is assistant treasurer, global risk management at International Paper Company, one of the world’s leading producers of fiber-based packaging and pulp.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, his team is responsible for risk financing and captive management, insurance programs and claims management, and property loss prevention engineering.
As he steps into his new role, StrategicRISK caught up with him to learn more about his outlook for risk, his priorities for the society, and how the profession can appeal to younger graduates.
What are the key goals you hope to achieve in your time at RIMS?
My number one priority is to follow the lead of the amazing risk professionals who have served as RIMS President before me. Each one has brought their unique perspective and a wealth of experience to the role. They laid incredible groundwork. I’m looking forward to building on that.
More specifically, my priorities include continuing to fill the risk management pipeline with smart, talented professionals.
While supporting students and universities remains a RIMS focus, I see a need for RIMS to develop even more resources for early-career professionals.
There is an uptick in students choosing risk management careers and universities offering courses in this space. Once those graduating risk professionals enter the workforce, RIMS must do all it can to support them. Once they are here, we need to help keep them here.
“Another priority is to continue to bring credibility and respect to the profession much like that experienced by doctors, accountants, and lawyers.”
Secondly, over the last few years, many risk professionals have shown just how critical their contributions can be to organisational resilience. RIMS wants to help build that capability for those professionals who don’t have that experience or tools yet.
So, another priority is to continue to bring credibility and respect to the profession much like that experienced by doctors, accountants, and lawyers. We can accomplish this by setting standards through certifications like the RIMS-CRMP, which is the only ANSI-accredited risk management in the world.
Not only will RIMS look to collaborate with other risk management groups internationally, the society will explore opportunities to work with adjacent professional groups that manage functions like human resources, information technology, legal and others, to elevate our collective risk management capabilities.
How can we make the risk management profession more appealing to young graduates?
I strongly believe it is up to the risk community to do a better job of telling our story. The perception of what it means to be a risk management professional is not clearly understood.
Too often, risk professionals are labeled as the insurance buyer. While this is an important function, we can be much more than that.
If I had one call to action during my RIMS presidency it would be for all of those risk professionals who are enjoying rewarding careers in this exciting field to share their stories with RIMS.
“Too often, risk professionals are labeled as the insurance buyer. While this is an important function, we can be much more than that.”
Whether it is by writing an article, volunteering at a chapter, speaking at or attending RISKWORLD, or merely joining a webinar, I’m calling on the risk community to not only participate but to step out of their comfort zones and contribute to the conversation.
In the face of so much adversity, when almost every risk seemed to manifest at the same time, risk professionals stood tall. The world needs to hear these amazing stories.
Officers on the RIMS 2024 Board of Directors:
- President: David Arick, ARM; assistant treasurer, global risk management, International Paper Company.
- Vice president: Kristen Peed; head of corporate risk, Sequoia.
- Treasurer: Kevin Bates; group head of risk & insurance, Lendlease.
- Secretary: Manuel Padilla; vice president, risk management & insurance, MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated.
New Board Members:
- Ann Barry: senior director, risk management, Palo Alto Networks.
- Will Lehman: global director of risk management, Cook Group Incorporated.
- Tamieka Weeks: director, global risk management & insurance, Southwire Company.
- Robert Zhang: regional risk & compliance Manager, Asia Pacific, IKEA Supply.
Incumbent Board Members:
- Penni Chambers: vice president, risk management, Hillwood a Perot Company.
- John Kline: director, risk & insurance management, Discover Financial Services.
- Christie Weinstein: director, risk management, Honeywell International Inc.
- Ex Officio: Jennifer Santiago: director, risk management and safety, Wakefern Food Corp.
- Non-voting director: Gary A. LaBranche: RIMS chief executive officer.
What risks do you think are keeping your risk manager members up at night?
While the most important risks to follow are subjective to each organization and their business, there are a few risks that are universally shared.
Technology, and our heightened dependence on it, is certainly one of them. There is no question that technology has improved efficiencies. However, the speed at which some organisations are implementing it has trumped the analysis of its potential consequences.
The rise of remote working has also increased efficiencies. No longer is it necessary to fly around the world for a meeting or for an organisation’s leadership to meet.
“The overall volatility of the world we live in is a concern. Risks are coming faster and are having greater, wider-sweeping impacts on business than ever before.”
That said, remote work environments have impacted corporate culture, and impacts the way we manage, attract, develop, and retain people. This also opens the door to privacy concerns as data is being stored and shared in remote locations, raising additional cyber concerns.
Especially in the US, protecting organisational assets from nuclear verdicts and legal system abuse has become increasingly troubling. Even if your organisation is doing the right thing, it can still be impacted by these lawsuits.
Lastly, I would say the overall volatility of the world we live in is a concern. Risks are coming faster and are having greater, wider-sweeping impacts on business than ever before.
Fortifying supply chains, navigating political uncertainty and war, even attempting to model for natural disasters has become increasingly more difficult.
How do you think the risk management profession needs to evolve to meet the challenges of the future?
It is important that risk professionals realise that they are not in this alone.
I joined RIMS back in 1992 and participated in meetings at my local RIMS Chapter in Ohio. I quickly realised the value of the RIMS network.
Instantly, I had access to risk professionals from around the globe, from a wide range of industries, from different backgrounds, and at different levels of experience. I had a community of mentors.
To tackle that mounting list of dynamic and evolving risks, the risk community must lean on and learn from each other. For those, like me, who have been in the risk management space for a while, we must dive into professional development and volunteerism.
“Risk professionals need to be proactive, help prevent risk from escalating, and mitigate impacts when events and disruptions occur.”
It is on us to give back to the profession, share what we have learned, and help create a path for our fellow risk professionals to succeed. The more impactful risk management becomes globally, the more credibility and respect we bring to the profession.
Risk professionals also need to continue to think strategically about their role and risk management.
Risk management is so much more than insurance buying. Insurance is an important tool, but risk professionals need to be proactive, help prevent risk from escalating, and mitigate impacts when events and disruptions occur.
Insurance is a means to recover from those bad events, but risk professionals must be strategic to help their organisations make better and smarter risk-based decisions.
What’s your ‘one rule of risk management’?
“How do I make the most of the opportunities that I have” is something that I ask myself frequently. Adding value, contributing to strategy, or being viewed as a contributor to the organisation’s strategy are challenges that many risk professionals grapple with.
“Risk professionals must be able to forge relationships and build trust to create a risk-aware corporate culture”
It is important for risk professionals to put themselves in their audiences’ shoes and figure out what is important to them, and then seek out win-win opportunities.
There are a handful of soft skills, such as negotiating and public speaking, that have become essential to the role.
At the end of the day, risk professionals must be able to forge relationships and build trust to create a risk-aware corporate culture that improves decision-making and supports innovation and progress.
Arick has worked in the insurance and risk management field for over 35 years, beginning his career in claim services at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio.
He then progressed through risk management positions at Banc One Corporation, Abbott Laboratories, Emerson Electric, and General Electric, prior to joining International Paper in June 2004.
Mr. Arick has been actively involved in RIMS throughout his career, initially as an officer and board member for the Central Ohio and St. Louis RIMS chapters. He then served in Society roles as a member of the RIMS International Committee, chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee, and as a member of the External Affairs Committee.
He joined the RIMS Board of Directors in 2019, serving as the Society’s Secretary in 2021, its Treasurer in 2022, and Vice President in 2023.